Dr Shanshan Yao

PhD Graduate
Department of Mechanical & Aerospace Engineering

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology

Dr Shanshan Yao obtained her Bachelor's degree from the Department of Materials of Science and Engineering at Xi'an Jiaotong University in 2014. She was the recipient of the National Scholarships for three years in a row while doing her Bachelor's degree. Then, she was awarded the prestigious Hong Kong PhD Fellowship from the Hong Kong Research Grants Council for PhD study at The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Shanshan has defended her PhD thesis under the supervision of Prof Jang-Kyo Kim in August 2018, and will be appointed as a Visiting Scholar in September 2018. Her research mainly focuses on novel anode materials for high-performance sodium ion batteries as well as applications of 2D materials for energy storage. She has solid experience in experimental skills including nanomaterial synthesis, battery testing, electrochemistry, advanced characterization tools such as XRD, XPS, FTIR, TGA, SEM, TEM, and associated analyses.

Red P and Sb2S3 for Sustainable Energy Storage Systems: Performance and Mechanistic Insights

Ever-growing global electric energy storage demand arising from the booming markets of portable electronics, electric vehicles (EVs) and unmanned aerial vehicles motivates the development of safe, sustainable, and cost-effective energy storage systems with high energy/power densities and long cyclic life. Apart from the conventional lithium ion batteries (LIBs), sodium ion batteries (SIBs) and lithium sulfur batteries (LSBs) exhibit great potentials as alternative candidates for next-generation batteries due to the much cheaper precursor materials, environmental benignity and electrochemical performance comparable to LIBs. In order to realize their successful applications to power EVs and smart grids in the near future, it is essential to develop energy storage materials with abundant resources, rationally designed functional and structural features and excellent structural stabilities. This thesis focuses mainly on exploring novel energy storage nanomaterials based on group-15 elements, e.g., red P and Sb2S3, in an effort to mitigate the critical challenges known to rechargeable batteries and accelerate their practical commercialization. Nanocarbons are appropriately introduced to fabricate various nanocomposites with sophisticated microstructures and improved electrochemical properties. Different nanomaterials are rationally designed and prepared: namely, the HPCNS/P composite, the SSNS/C composite, and the 2D Sb2S3 nanosheets and SSNS/CNT composites. Combing the cutting-edge experimental techniques, such as ex situ XRD and in situ TEM/SAED, with theoretical calculations, the underlying relationship between the microstructural features and electrochemical properties are well established. This PhD research work may shed new light on the knowledge in the subject area and enable the application of these electrode materials in sustainable energy storage systems.